CBSSports.com: Fantasy Baseball Week 24 Starts And Sits

By Chris Cwik, CBSSports.com

Each Friday the fantasy baseball experts at CBSSports.com break down who to start and who to sit for the upcoming week of fantasy baseball.

Despite his strong performance this season, Marcus Stroman seems to be going relatively unnoticed. That may be a result of him playing on a team that doesn’t traditionally get a ton of coverage nationally, or it could be that the Blue Jays have gone into the tank just as Stroman hit his stride. Whatever the case, Stroman isn’t getting his due. Perhaps Fantasy owners will take notice this week, when he takes the mound against two weak opponents.

Start ‘Em:

Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays (42 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: Home against Cubs, Rays

It’s time for Fantasy owners to recognize Marcus Stroman. That’s not entirely fair, as Stroman is owned in 74 percent of leagues, but it seems like his performance has gone relatively unnoticed. While a 3.83 ERA is nothing for the rookie to be ashamed of, the advanced metrics believe Stroman could be in for some improvement. He’s posted an acceptable strikeout rate, and doesn’t walk that many hitters. Taking on the Cubs and Rays should help him get things going Week 24.

Players I would start him over: Chris Tillman, Shelby Miller, Ian Kennedy (one start)

Edinson Volquez, SP, Pirates (35 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Phillies, home against Cubs

Volquez is another player who has performed better than most people likely expect. The problem here is that the advanced metrics aren’t as kind to Volquez. Control issues have plagued him in the past, but he’s been able to cut those down to an acceptable level at the expense of a couple strikeouts. Overall, he’s become a low-upside starter now. There’s less potential that he’ll walk the bases loaded, but double-digit strikeouts don’t seem possible anymore either. His poor opponents should help him reach his upside this week.

Players I would start him over: Chris Archer, Jason Vargas, Dallas Keuchel (one start)

Steve Pearce, 1B, Orioles (21 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Red Sox, home against Yankees

Pearce is a gamble for a few reasons. First off, he’s currently dealing with an injury. Pearce is expected to return this weekend, though, and should be fine for Week 24. Second, he’s limited by his eligibility. There are plenty of useful assets at first base in Fantasy leagues. That said, it’s tough to argue against Pearce’s numbers when healthy. The 31-year-old has hit .289/.354/.532 in 314 plate appearances. Both his opponents play in strong hitter’s parks.

Players I would start him over: Eric Hosmer, Mark Teixeira, Michael Morse

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MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 20: Marcell Ozuna #13 of the Miami Marlins hits during a game against the Texas Rangers at Marlins Park on August 20, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

Marcell Ozuna (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (61 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Brewers, Phillies

Ozuna’s big draw is his ability to hit for power. Playing in both Miller Park and Citizen’s Bank Park should help him in that area immensely. The problem here is that Ozuna is an all-or-nothing guy. He strikes out way too much to be reliable over a long period of time. And he’s not the type of player who will make up for those whiffs with a ton of walks. If you feel like gambling on cheap power, he’s your guy.

Players I would start him over: Curtis Granderson, Yangervis Solarte, Torii Hunter

Conor Gillaspie, 3B, White Sox (26 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: Home against Athletics, Twins

In a lot of ways, Gillaspie is the anti-Ozuna. He doesn’t have any elite skills, but he’ll give you something. There’s not a ton of upside here, unfortunately, as Gillaspie seems to have traded average for pop this season. That’s not entirely the case, as his slugging percentage is actually higher this year, but he’s had some issues getting the ball out of his small home park. Still, he bats in the middle of a decent lineup, and should provide a decent average. That’s all some Fantasy owners need at this point.

Players I would start him over: Casey McGehee, Trevor Plouffe, Brock Holt

Dioner Navarro, C, Blue Jays (40 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: Home against Cubs, Rays

Navarro failed to live up to last season’s breakout, but no one actually expected him to be that good again. Though his numbers have dropped a bit, his increase in playing time has made him viable in mixed leagues. Navarro can provide decent pop for a catcher, and won’t strike out a ton. He plays all of his games at home Week 24. Navarro is hitting .306/.336/.479 at the Rogers Centre.

Players I would start him over: Kurt Suzuki, Yan Gomes, Russell Martin

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 19:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Chris Archer (Photo Credit: Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Sit ‘Em:

Chris Archer, SP, Rays (61 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Yankees, Blue Jays

Two straight poor starts likely have Archer’s owners on edge. Long-term, there’s probably no reason for concern. Short-term, he’ll have to get right against two tough opponents. To make matters worse, both of Archer’s opponents play in tiny parks. Archer has been a breakout performer for the Rays this season, and it’s tough to overlook his numbers over the full season. But this isn’t the week to go against the matchups.

Players I would start instead: Edinson Volquez, Jabob deGrom, C.J. Wilson (one start)

Chris Tillman, SP, Orioles (74 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Red Sox, home against Yankees

Tillman has been on a nice run lately. Overall, his numbers have been an improvement over last season’s breakout. While his strikeout rate could be higher, it’s tough to argue with the changes he’s made this season. Still, taking on both the Red Sox and Yankees can prove difficult. And while the Red Sox aren’t a strong team, playing in Fenway is always a scary thing for a fly ball pitcher like Tillman.

Players I would start instead: Marcus Stroman, Yovani Gallardo, Yordano Ventura (one start)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Asdrubal Cabrera #3 of the Washington Nationals hits a two run home run in the 14th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Asdrubal Cabrera (Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B, Nationals (59 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: Home against Braves, at Mets

A trade to the Nationals has done wonders for Cabrera’s power, but that’s about it. Since joining Washington, Cabrera has belted five home runs in 121 plate appearances. That’s a number that screams fluke. It’s not like Nationals Park is a bandbox, it actually plays fairly neutral. So, if we believe the power will come down, that leaves Fantasy owners with a pedestrian second baseman in a good offense.

Players I would start instead: Howie Kendrick, Dustin Ackley, Martin Prado

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies (82 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Mets, Cardinals

You can’t argue with Blackmon’s numbers at Coors Field. In fact, the entire Rockies team turns into the mid-90s Indians when at home. Playing on the road is a much different story, especially for Blackmon. In 240 at-bats away from Coors, Blackmon has hit .238/.268/.338 with five home runs. As you might have guessed, Blackmon will be on the road all week. This isn’t the week to put him in your Fantasy lineup.

Players I would start instead: Christian Yelich, Khris Davis, Ben Revere

Ian Kennedy, SP, Padres (53 percent started Week 23)

Week 24 schedule: At Dodgers

Kennedy’s resurgence has been impressive, and there’s some evidence that his home park isn’t entirely to blame. The issue here is that Kennedy’s only start is against one of the better offensive clubs this season. The Dodgers offense ranks fifth in wRC+, an advanced measure which looks at how a team performs regardless of the park they are in. It’s a bad matchup for the otherwise solid Kennedy.

Players I would start instead: Dan Haren, A.J. Burnett, Collin McHugh

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